Saturday, September 06, 2008

A Woman At Work

When I was six weeks old, my mother went back to her job as a planner with a prominent trucking manufacturer. She has worked outside of the home for my entire life, except for one year when I was twelve. I was taken care of by my grandmother, and later on my brother and I were cared for by my father's first cousin, whom my brother and I lovingly refer to as our 'other mom'.

We didn't know it at the time, but the Lord was preparing my mom to be almost the sole financial provider for her family later on.

When I was in college and still dependent on my parents' financial support (my brother had just finished high school), my father was declared legally blind and had to give up his driver's license. His work as a sales manager was partially contingent on his ability to drive, and his company fired him. It was a very difficult time for both my parents. It was a blessing that my mother had such a good job with excellent benefits-- it kept us afloat. And within two years, Dad and Mom had relocated to another state to follow Mom's job.

When my brother and I were kids, none of us knew how important Mom's career was going to be later on down the road. But the Lord knew. He was preparing something none of us understood yet.

And yet, my brother and I both understood that Mom was the keeper of the home. She kept us clean, well-dressed, well-fed, in a tidy home. She kept up traditions; documented events with pictures; took us on outings; attended athletic events, plays, recitals; sewed clothes, costumes, curtains and pillows; prepared for vacations and church meetings; and was very hospitable. (So hospitable, that often I was kicked out of my bed for overnight guests! I didn't mind, though. I liked company.) She was an excellent housekeeper, wife and mother-- and still is. With a full-time job outside the home.

Dad's eye situation actually freed him to do more studying and writing as a minister of the gospel. He was without a church to serve for many years, and wrote two books during that time, providing blessings for God's people as he used his analytical and research skills to write a church history, and a commentary on the subject of repentance.

My parents are going to be fine financially after retirement because of the blessing of Mom's career. She and Dad did not know that when she continued working after I was born. They just knew it was what she needed to do.

I firmly believe it was part of God's provision for our family that Mom be a worker outside of the home, as well as in it.

I have been spurred to write this because of the astonishing articles and comments I have been reading by conservative Christian women about Sarah Palin. Sisters, we do not know what God's plan is for every person on the planet. God moves in mysterious ways, his wonders to perform.

I am not saying who to vote for. Perhaps a write-in would be appropriate. I am not super thrilled with Senator McCain myself. I am shocked and dismayed at Senator Obama. Senator Biden disgusts me. Governor Palin seems a strong, stalwart warrior of a woman-- and I don't know how she does what she does. I do know her husband stands fully behind her, and in fact took a leave of absence from his career when she became governor of Alaska. He stays home to take care of the children, so they are not being neglected. I think I would feel an strong obligation to stay home with the baby and the wayward teenager myself.

But, Sisters, let us remember that just because we know scripture does not mean we know God's will for all. We know what we would do. We do not know what the Lord has given her to do. That is between her and God. Our job at this point is to look at the chess game of the election process and decide which move will cause the greatest number of godly choices down the road. Maybe it is making a symbolic stand with a write-in. Maybe it is voting for the least harmful and most likely to be elected choice.

It is a tough election cycle, that is for sure. But let's not destroy the house with our own hands. We are where we are in this country. Let's look at where we are right now, and decide how to vote in order to get *closer* to where we ought to be in the next four years, rather than further away.

I realize I am probably opening a can of worms here. That is why I generally do not post political commentary on my blog. But I had to stand and be counted as someone who thinks it is sometimes appropriate and God-honoring for a woman to have a career outside of the home. I believe God sometimes provides blessings in that way. I have seen multiple evidences of that as I have journeyed through life thus far, of which my mother is simply one example.

Another post in which are listed some godly women of the Bible who worked outside the home.


School for Us said...

What a thoughtful post!

My mom, too, worked outside the home when we were young. She actually started by going back to college. We were never in daycare (well, I guess we were for a semester once) and my mom found jobs to work around our school hours. God was preparing her, too, to support herself.

We truly do not know what the future will hold and that is why we must each follow God's will for our lives.

Donna-Jean said...

Thank you for a very thoughtful and Biblically focused post about Sarah Palin and her path. Your own story is a testimony of God's grace - thank you for sharing it.

Praying for Sarah Palin and her family (and now wearing a button on my bag with her name on it :-)